At its annual congress today, an Irish lecturers’ union voted to for a comprehensive academic boycott of Israel, described by activists as the first such move of its kind in Europe.
In a unanimous vote, the Teachers’ Union of Ireland called on members to “cease all cultural and academic collaboration with Israel, including the exchange of scientists, students and academic personalities, as well as all cooperation in research programmes.”
The motion also called for the Irish Congress of Trade Unions to “step up its campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against the apartheid state of Israel.”
David Landy, sociology lecturer at Trinity College Dublin, welcomed the motion in an Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign press release, explaining: “Undoubtedly apologists for Israeli apartheid will complain that such motions stifle academic freedom, but this is nonsense. The Palestinian call for an academic boycott of Israel is an institutional boycott, not a boycott of individuals.”
He also said: “We congratulate the TUI and call on all Irish, British and European academic unions to move similar motions.”
As The Electronic Intifada’s David Cronin has written elsewhere, some Irish universities are involved in multi-million-euro European Union “defense” projects that also involve Israel, so the motion could have significant implications. more